University of Colorado Hospital, Aurora, Colorado

Hello. My name is Dr. John Carroll and I'm at the University of Colorado Hospital and a professor of medicine at the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine. And we've been working on treatment of people with coronary artery disease and how can we optimize the placement of coronary stents.

Coronary stents now account for more procedures than people undergoing bypass operations, but coronary stenting is not always perfect.

It's recently been shown that 50 percent of the time, when a coronary stent is placed, it's not placed optimally; either it's shifted one or two millimeters upstream or downstream where the plaque has built up or it's not fully expanded, such as the middle scaffold is not fully opposed to the wall of the artery.

This lack of optimal placement can lead to complications after the procedure such as narrowings coming back, clots forming.

Therefore, we at the University of Colorado's Cardiac and Vascular Center, working with Phillips Medical, have come up with a variety of new technologies with image processing so we can see stents better when we're putting them in such that we can optimize their placements and optimize therefore the outcomes of our patients. This has not been easy because coronary stents are very small.

This shows the coronary stents crimped down on a delivery room, and the coronary stent is only 2 mm in diameter and perhaps only 12 mm in length in this case. Secondly, coronary stents sit in coronary arteries that are constantly moving on the beating heart.

So the task of visualization is challenging. This shows some of our results from a patient who recently had a coronary stent placed. Ane one can see beautifully these individual stent stripes that are smaller than a human hair.

If we can see things better, we can do things more precisely and optimize the outcomes of our patients. This is the kind of imaging research we're doing and bringing to patient care at University of Colorado Hospital.